Forgot Password
2013-12-16T09:00:00 Updated 2015-02-18T23:18:15

'We just need to keep digging deep'

Jussi Jaaskelainen says West Ham United need to 'dig deep' if they are to turn recent results around and start climbing the Barclays Premier League table.

The goalkeeper kept his eighth clean sheet in 16 league games, but was forced to settle for a point in Saturday's goalless home draw with Sunderland.

While things are not quite clicking in front of goal, Jaaskelainen and his defenders were again on top form to shutout the Black Cats at the Boleyn Ground.

"It was a little disappointing from the team because we didn't pass the ball with the same fluency as we normally do in home games, so it was massively important that we kept a clean sheet and got at least a point from the game," said the Finn.

"Sometimes when you don't play well you have to settle for a point.

"I think they generally played a bit sharper than us and that hasn't been happening since I've been here. Over the last season and a half we've been very sharp at home and we've been better attacking-wise.

"We just need to keep digging deep. We've been a little low on confidence but we don't need to be like that because we've not been playing badly.

"We've got eight clean sheets and we definitely should have a few more points, but if we keep working hard and keep believing we will turn this around."

Read Mo Diame's reaction to Saturday's draw with Sunderland

While confidence may not be at its highest in the camp, Jaaskelainen insists this is no time for the Hammers to go into their shells.

Instead, the No22 says the players need to knuckle down, learn from their errors and experiences and go into each and every match believing they can achieve a positive result.

"Obviously you take the good and bad things from the games before and you have to learn from your mistakes - that's the main thing as a player, because you don't want to make the same mistakes again.

"It's a little bit easier to build on all those clean sheets, because we just need a little bit of luck in front of goal and nick a goal because that's going to make a massive change.

"We're going to have a big Christmas period coming up and hopefully we can go to Manchester United [and do well] and go on from there."

Jaaskelainen's performance against Sunderland was exemplary, with the Finn making a series of important saves, holding the ball well and punching and parrying with authority.

"That's my job and what I try to do every week. I always try to work hard in training and take that into the games and hopefully I can carry on the level I've been playing for the last few years - that's my aim."

The 38-year-old was especially pleased with his display in the light of a couple of recent fouls which led to penalties in defeats by Norwich City and Chelsea.

"You always learn, even at my age. Against Chelsea I was a bit unfortunate because Oscar wasn't even trying to score.

"You realise now that players are happier to get a penalty than try to score the goal, so if you go and commit yourself you have to be 100 per cent sure you're going to get to the ball first. If not, they will nick the ball away, go down and get the penalty.

"When a player goes through one-on-one with you, you'd expect him to try to score, but that's not the case anymore."

Jaaskelainen says goalkeepers now have to act like defenders, in that staying on their feet is often the best way to avoid conceding a spot-kick.

"The only way you can commit yourself is when you are 100 per cent sure you're going to get to the ball first. That's the name of the game.

"You can see how many penalties come now from when the player kicks the ball towards the corner flag and goes down to get the penalty. That's the way football is going."

Jaaskelainen will be looking to produce two more unbeatable performances this week, with the Hammers travelling to Tottenham Hotspur in the Capital One Cup quarter-finals on Wednesday before Saturday's league trip to Old Trafford.

"We'll see what's going to happen on Wednesday as to whether I'll play [or Adrian continues to start in that competition], but whoever players we want to go there and put in a good performance.

"Every player knows that the cup is not the priority, but we want to win every game and if we do we'll be in the semi-finals.

"If I look back on my career, the best memories were in the cups - an FA Cup semi-final at Wembley [in April 2011] and the League Cup final in Cardiff [in 2004]. Those were very nice experiences, but the money is in the Premier League so we have to make sure the main focus is on the Premier League."

Related News
Bilic - Nobody can say we didn't deserve to win
Bilic - Nobody can say we didn't deserve to win
Winston boosted by late winner
Winston boosted by late winner
Match Report
Reid scores dramatic late winner
Reid scores dramatic late winner
Club London
Join Club London for Chelsea!
Join Club London for Chelsea!
The Big Interview - Pedro Obiang
The Big Interview - Pedro Obiang
Ray - We are thrilled to be part of West Ham family
Ray - We are thrilled to be part of West Ham family
Spire Roding Hospital
Saturday 22 October 15:00London Stadium
1 - 0